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6 Tips For Finding The Best Talent For Your Startup

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Audrey Throne. Her opinions are her own.

One of the most important tasks for any startup founder is finding the right talent. It is not easy; and it can cost the business valuable time and money if they make a bad choice. Taking time to find that perfect candidate is difficult enough, especially when you are looking for someone to do a job for you.

You definitely need to ask the right questions. Workforce analytics company Vizier says that these questions can tell a lot about the personality of the person sitting across from you.

Here are a few other tips to help your startup acquire the best talent.

1. Find people who contribute to your culture

One of the top reasons companies fail to find the right talent is because they don’t find a person who fits their culture. And culture is something difficult to define.

You can also run some tests to determine your office culture. If you want to have a cool atmosphere of go-getters, you have to mention that in the job description. If you don’t like the results of your cultural surveys, then you have to fix and create a culture before expecting anyone else to become a part of it.

You have to hire people who are ready to embrace your way of work.

A great employer not only hires great talent, but also provides them an excellent atmosphere to work, thus bringing out the best in them.

2. Utilize digital trends

Nowadays, employers needs to get out of their database and start searching for the perfect candidate through social media. It is a community of talented individuals who sometimes display their portfolios for free. Take LinkedIn for example. It is a CV platform on its own, and a careful search can connect you with a highly-qualified individual for any job opening.

Even employees look for companies that follow the tech trends of today. Imagine walking into an office which still uses Microsoft XP on box-sized computers. Startups should catch up with digital trends if they want to hire the right people.

A survey by MIT and Deloitte found that the vast majority of respondents, ages 22 to 60, want to work for digitally enabled organizations, which means businesses will have to stay ahead of the curve in order to retain employees and attract new ones.

Once you find a potential candidate on social media or anywhere on the internet, run a search on their digital footprint. This is just like doing a background check on the employee in the real world. It is not the best thing to do, but a look into your employees social media (Twitter, Facebook, Gravatar, Google+) can give you a pretty good idea about their personality. Also, read the pros and cons of social media background checks.

3. Don’t hire friends (unless they are aware of the responsibilities)

We have seen this many times. Founders bring friends and family members into their companies because they trust them. Running a startup is a very risky job, with so much at stake.

Whilst it might make sense to start off with a friend you trust, if they fail, your business will suffer and that one friendship might become the bone of contention.

Another challenge that comes along with hiring friends is that if you have to ‘fire’ them at some point, that will create many complications for you, both personally and professionally.

4. Set clear goals

Another big mistake companies make is to ignore the real duties that have to be performed. Don’t take job descriptions lightly. What you include in a job description is what you need to get, so in order to do that, you have to think of what you want.

If you are not responsible for advertising your job descriptions, the right talent may not be able to apply. A study by researchers in United States and Canada found out that poorly written job descriptions can alienate potential candidates.

5. Don’t hire someone just to fill a spot

In other words, don’t hire fast.

It is never advisable to hire fast, because you may make some wrong choices in the process. Having the wrong person work for you is far worse than leaving the vacancy open. Although both these situations aren’t good, it is advisable to hire slowly and look for the real superstar. You have to understand your needs in order to look for the person who can best fulfil them. Don’t let your team of passionate individuals settle for mediocre talent when you can find someone better with a little more effort.

6. Offer a decent package

Never announce a job opportunity without being sure of the salary you can afford to pay.

As a startup, you want the best talent in your team for a great start. In order to make great talent stay, you have to offer competitive packages that are hard to say no to. As Neil Patel puts it, just like you need to spend more in order to get dressed in the fanciest attire, you also need to pay well in order to have a great business.

The right kind of talent looks past the salary and scrutinizes the opportunity as a whole. When a skilled individual looks at your offer, they look at your work culture, projects, future performance and your style of leadership. Keep that in mind to avoid attracting the wrong kind of people.

Audrey Throne

Audrey Throne is a mother and a professional blogger by choice. She has completed her masters in English literature from the University of Birmingham. As a blogger, she writes on health, technology as well as management.

  • Don Leon

    Would add a number SEVEN: Go through a rigorous and disciplined interview process. Once you have written out your road map, let the interviewing team in on the process you have put in place. Develop a thorough evaluation system with behavioral questioning (avoid trick questions, as candidates find that annoying unless they are interviewing at one of the larger tech companies). And if a candidate comes through the “backdoor” via an investor or a friend of the Co-Founder, treat them no differently, than when interviewing any other potential hire! Don Leon

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